Can you say more about the consequences, please?
Alec Muffett
1

The immediate effect of this particular scheme is that if someone wants to check out your porn site, and they’re not satisfied with softcore shots, they need to give you their home address, wait for the delivery agent, and have them check their ID (potentially tipping off family members etc.) before they can even watch a preview. Not good for business. There are few porn sites operated and hosted in Germany, and those are mostly the online stores of producers that usually distribute their products via brick-and-mortar sex shops etc. Everyone else picks the only sane option: moving their business to another country.

Google heavily censors search results. It’s competitors — even Bing — aren’t quite so proactive. But even Google’s powerless against filtering the staggering amounts of pornography on the web. Look for anything even remotely related and it’ll show up in your search results. But you can be sure you won’t be getting the big, reputable sites; what you’ll find is the disingenuous blackhat SEO sort, stuffed full of malicious advertising.

Speaking of security: Another AV scheme has been gaining popularity lately, which solves the ease-of-access problem while still complying with regulations by combining two terrible ideas into one: First, they ask for the user’s online banking login data (no cooperation with their bank), to verify they own the associated bank account, and then, they do a credit reference check. The provider of this service is Sofort GmbH, a limited-liability company, whose primary service is a variation of this process for instant-confirmation wire transfers.

Porn isn’t the only type of media subject to such restrictions. Others, such as uncensored versions of especially gory horror flicks, aren’t popular enough to remain commercially viable in their face. In practice, those simply aren’t legally available in Germany, even though technically vendors have a legal way of selling them. Piracy, of course, remains as an easy option for all ages.

And as you might suspect, various polls over the past few years show that age verification probably isn’t very effective. Something between a third and a half of German teenagers under 18 have seen hardcore pornography, and that number goes up as you raise the lower bound of that age range.

To sum up: Mandatory online age verification has already proven itself to ruin content providers’ business, driving them out of the country or effectively preventing them from offering their content to law-abiding adults at all, hassle adult consumers and encourage them to commit copyright infringement or engage in dangerous practices with important login details and personal data, and drive people to malicious and unaccountable websites, yet not remotely succeeding at its goal of keeping certain types of content out of minors’ hands.